This was an enlightening lesson on perseverance and demonstrating growth mindset. We have come to the end of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Haddon; a wonderful book about the challenges facing an adolescent with Asperger’s. I decided to try an alternative assessment: a talk show from my latest PD book, (Steineke 142).
At first the students were excited and there was energetic discussion . They decided on creating a show around what happened to the main characters after the book because Haddon leaves a few questions unanswered. However, when I explained that the content, i.e. the script with textual evidence weighted more that the performance, frustration set in. “Let’s take a regular test”, they whined.
I spoke about enjoying the challenge of a new activity and had a discussion about the essential questions we had discussed:
What’s it like being , as Temple Grandin put it, different but not less?
In what ways does the protagonist act like a typical teen and in what ways are his actions unusual?
It was then that one of the group members came up with an idea: the protagonist’s journey towards independence; an upbeat, optimistic theme of accomplishment.
This paved the way for a ‘meaty’ as well as entertaining script.